The families of the three Lily Mine workers who were trapped underground when the mine collapsed five years ago, are calling for Minister for Mineral Resources and Energy, Gwede Mantashe’s intervention.
They say Mantashe should come up with strategies that would assist to retrieve the bodies of their loved ones.
This after officials of the department visited the affected families who have been camping outside the mine premises since last year.
The video below is a report on the three bodies that have still not been retrieved:
The meeting was aimed at updating the families about the new business rescue plan.
Last week the owners of the mine, Vantage Goldfields, announced that they have secured a financial deal with an Australia-based company.
However, potential investor, Arqomanzi, has accused the business rescue practitioners of unlawfully amending the business rescue plan in favour of the Vantage Goldfields following the new deal.
Arqomanzi is currently challenging the new developments in court. Deputy Chief Inspector of Mines, Mthokozisi Zondi ,told the affected families that Vantage Goldfields intends to re-open the mine in July.
“The latest that we have received from the business rescue practitioners was that Vantage Goldfields will be refinancing itself. That means that they will be funding the opening of the mine themselves. And according to the correspondent that we received from them is that they were planning to reopen the mine by the 2nd July 2021.
Obviously as the department we are concerned with all these litigation which might delay of the business process. But as the department we will await the final decision of the court and then take the process forward as the department,” Zondi said.
Speaking on behalf of the three families, Herry Mazibuko, says they have already written to Minister Mantashe.
“The families were mentioning that they are not more into the company’s procedures or company act and no more into business rescue processes. What they know or what we know together is that the container that swallowed our colleagues or our loved ones is below 70 metres underground and the department itself they mentioned and confirmed that yes the container is indeed a retrievable.
So the question is that what is it that made us as South Africans including our government failing to retrieve the container for 5 years now. We have prepared a letter to the of which they have accepted and agreed that they will make sure that it gets to the hand of the minister,” says Mazibuko.
Meanwhile, the Mpumalanga High Court has postponed the litigation case between Vantage Goldfiels, business rescue practitioners and Arqomanzi for judgment.
Acting Judge, Denise Greyling-Coetzer said the judgment will be sent to the involved parties electronically.